One chance: FCTA to ban unpainted taxis

MINISTER of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Nyesom Wike has said unpainted taxis and buses would soon be banned from operating on roads within the Territory as part of measures to address the issue of criminal gangs disguising as commercial drivers.

Wike disclosed this while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, January 22.

“We are not going to allow vehicles that are not painted with FCT colour and registered by the FCTA to ply commercial in the territory. That way, you know the driver is certified by the FCT and the buses and the taxes were also approved by the FCT.

“When this is done, you as the passenger will not take the risk of going to board any vehicle that you don’t even know,” he said.

Last year, in a detailed investigation, the ICIR reported the one-chance menace in a report titled  Caught in the belly of one-chance robbers: Nigeria’s major cities hotbed for crime on passengers.

The minister also noted that operators of e-hailing services would be required to register with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for easier identification of drivers.

He stated that the absence of official terminals for residents was contributing to the problem of “one chance” operations. He argued it was part of the issues to be addressed by his administration in 2024.

    “What we are trying to do in the 2024 fiscal year is to at least build three terminals for a start so that we will know the buses and taxes that will carry people from such terminals. When this is done, nobody will take the risk of going on the road to wait for a taxi. That way, you will be able to reduce crime,” he said.

    Activities of one-chance operators in the FCT have endangered the lives of residents for many years.

    In September 2023, FCT resident Greatness Olufemi died of wounds sustained during an attack by a one-chance gang in Abuja.

    Olufemi was pushed out of a moving vehicle by her assailants and died shortly after.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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